2016 H-D FLD Dyna Switchback Review

H-D Switchback road test

NEW BIKE REVIEW by Dain Gingerelli 

Some motorcycles are best defined with a single word. The 2016 FLD Dyna Switchback is one of those bikes, and the best description for it is “versatile.” In fact, versatility is what led to the name Switchback, because owners can, by removing the quick-detach windshield and saddlebags, switch back from a touring bike to a cruiser in a matter of seconds. I’ll go one step further, though, suggesting that the Switchback also presents itself as a worthy all-around motorcycle, one you can log countless miles with during daily commutes or for cross-country travel. Yet if you venture onto a winding, twisty road, the Switchback rewards you with responsive handling, braking, and power, allowing you to feel comfortable in its contoured saddle all the while. That’s true versatility.

Even so, the Dyna Switchback has gained a reputation of sorts for being a lightweight motorcycle, one best reserved for newbies and women riders. Hardened Harley riders cite a few reasons, chief among them being the FLD’s relatively light weight (696 pounds, claimed dry weight), a wheelbase that’s a couple of inches shorter than any of the bigger FLH Electra Glides’ 64″ hub-to-hub span, and a friendly 26.1″ seat height (with a 180 pound rider on board) that allows anybody taller than Tom Thumb a favorable chance to flat-foot it during stops.

Short of its low seat height, though, the Dyna Switchback is every bit the full-on, long-distance motorcycle that any of the original Duo-Glide models happened to be when they ruled the roost for long-distance riding. As proof, let’s travel back in time to 1958, the year for the first Duo-Glide, Harley’s original touring model with front and rear suspension. According to most sources, the Duo-Glide, powered by a Panhead engine, weighed 648 pounds, and its 16″-diameter balloon tires were spread exactly 60″ apart. Interesting — those dimensions are comparable to the Switchback’s specs.

Spin our time machine’s needle forward 10 years and the FL — now powered by a Shovelhead engine and called the Electra Glide thanks to an electric start system that was added in 1965 — weighed a mere 680 pounds. By 1972, Harley had added enough styling and touring accessories to bulk up the bike to about 720 pounds, but those specs still cast yesterday’s Panhead- and Shovelhead-powered FLs in a league closer to the Switchback than to the FLH we have today.

If you’re still not convinced that the Switchback is a full-on touring motorcycle, consider what some of the magazine editors wrote about the Electra Glide of yore. The editors for Supercycle magazine offered this about the 1972 FLH in their March 1973 issue: “It is quite a feeling sitting on such a large hunk of machinery. First time FLH riders are somewhat reluctant to take it off the stand. It just doesn’t feel like anything else you’ve ever ridden — and it isn’t like anything else you’ve ever ridden.”

For the 2016 Harley Switchback  full ride review, custom bike features, tech stories and more,
CLICK HERE American Iron Magazine issue 333

Also available in digital format CLICK HERE American Iron Digital

LePera Outcast GT

OutcastGTWhat’s this, a cafe racer seat for Harley-Davidson’s big Touring models? Well, not exactly, but LePera’s Outcast GT certainly does look sporty, and thanks to its steep contour rider area, there’s plenty of support for the driver during long hauls. For even more support, LePera includes a removable backrest for the driver. Just slip it in the provided slot, and then hit the road.

The Outcast GT is based on the Outcast, which means this rider area is 15″ wide, for a comfortable fit. A racy inlay center stripe with matching side graphics is available in either red or white. As with all of LePera’s premium-level seats, the Outcast GT has a black powder-coated steel base plate covered with soft carpet to protect the bike’s paint, and it’s ready to mount using the bike’s OE attachment points.

And to boost rider comfort, the Outcast GT has Marathon foam that’s upholstered with premium black vinyl for a lasting fit. The Outcast GT is available for all 2008-up Touring models, XL 04-06/10-15, all Dynas 06-up, FXST 06-UP with 200 MM tire, and carries a retail price of $875 that includes the removable backrest. Contact your local dealer or visit www.lepera.com

New Bike Review – 2015 H-D Dyna Low Rider

324-18-42015 H-D Dyna Low Rider

Versatility of a Swiss Army knife

text and photography by Dain Gingerelli

Here’s a recap of my workweek: after meddling with various tasks in my office Monday morning, I snuck out on the FXDL Dyna Low Rider for lunch at the big-box store, otherwise known as Costco. I’m an easy mark for Costco’s hot dog and coke combo, especially at the price, a buck fifty. I also can’t pass up an opportunity to get out of the office to ride bikes like the Low Rider, so the prospect of munching on that dog and coke sounded even more appealing as I saddled up.

In fact, my whole week went much like Monday.  Tuesday, I rode the Low rider through nearby Silverado Canyon in California to check if the US Forest Service had opened the gate to the dirt road leading up the Saddleback landmark. My best friend and I were planning a ride up that hill on our dual-sport bikes; if the gate was open, we would ride up the following weekend. It wasn’t open, but I still took the opportunity last tuesday to enjoy lunch on the way home at the Silverado Cafe, always a treat. The Low Rider waited patiently outside, its sidestand down, while I dined on a greasy, delicious burger inside.

I began writing this review first thing Wednesday morning, but soon enough, I reasoned that I probably should put some more miles on the Dyna to really “get a feel” for what the bike is about, so off I went, southbound on Interstate-5, taking me past Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. It’s a pleasant ride, with wide, sweeping vistas of the blue Pacific Ocean to my right, and the route takes me past the Basilone Road exit, named in honor of Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. Later during the war, he was awarded the Navy cross for his heroics at the Battle of Iwo Jima where he lost his life in further combat. I always pay my respects to the sergeant with a moment of silence from the saddle whenever I pass that exit. The Dyna Low Rider was in full stride, too, the Twin Cam 103″ engine purring smoothly the soothing din from its collector exhaust ever so discernible above the wind blast around my Arai helmet. It was as if the Low Rider knew that this particular gunny sergeant deserved respect.

And on Thursday, I heard about a new wall mural by street artist Bandit, so I rode the Dyna to nearby San Clemente to check out his handiwork with the spray cans, and now it’s Friday morning, and I’m staring at a deadline for this bike review. I’ll admit, too, that it was easier today to leave the Low Rider in my garage because its rear Michelin Scorcher “31” tire had, at some point during my week’s travels, developed a slow leak. Good excuse as any, I guess, to get back to work.

The Dyna Low Rider has a way of doing that, distracting you from everyday life. The bike is so congenial to all manner of street riding that you’ll feel confident taking it anywhere and everywhere there’s pavement. care to carve through a canyon, following the serpentine road as it snakes left to right? Not a problem because this Dyna’s steering is deliberate and precise, especially considering the FXDL’s cruiser roots date back to 1977. The Michelin rubber — 100/90-19″ up front and 160/70-17″ on the rear — do a fine job of gripping the asphalt, so you never feel off balance.

Like what you see? The full article is in American Iron Magazine issue # 324, NOW ON NEWSSTANDS! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
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Pope Francis’ Signed Dyna Super Glide Fetches $327,000

Harley Davidson_Pope_APA few weeks ago, Pope Francis donated a 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide to a Roman Catholic charity, which he had received in honor of Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary last year.  The Super Glide, which sports a tank signed by the Pope himself, was sold at the Grand Palais in Paris as part of the Bonhams auction house’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale on Thursday, February 6.

Before the auction, the bike was estimated to bring in about €15,000 ($20,469). However, the Harley’s final bidding price fetched far more than was expected: €241,008 ($327,000) including taxes and fees! That’s almost 20 times the original! Meanwhile, another Harley item, a leather Harley jacket, was sold at a separate lot, which went as high as $74,300. The bidder, however, has kept himself/herself anonymous.

From Fox News: “It’s unknown whether the pontiff ever rode the custom 2013 Dyna Super Glide that was a gift from Willie Davidson, a retired Harley-Davidson designer and grandson of the company’s co-founder.”

Pope Francis Signs & Donates Super Glide

Holy HarleyLast year in June, Pope Francis was given a 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide in honor of Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary. Rather than keeping it, the Pope signed the tank and then donated the motorcycle to the Roman Catholic charity, Caritas Roma. The bike, which will be put up for auction  by the Bonhams auction house on February 6, is estimated to bring in up to €15,000 ($20,469). The auction will take place at the Grand Palais in Paris as part of the Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale.

Caritas Roma plans on using the donation money to renovate its Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen.

From the original article on Independent.co.uk: “Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams, said: ‘We are incredibly honoured to be selling this item on behalf of Caritas Roma. We hope to be able to do both Pope Francis and Harley-Davidson proud by raising a significant amount of money for a very worthy cause.'”

For more information, click here.

C&C 2Up Seat for HD Dyna

C&C Motorcycle Seats has just introduced its new 2Up Seats for Harley-Davidson’s popular Dyna Glide models. Shown here is the  C&C SportTour with a Removable Driver’s Backrest, with the seat lowering the driver for better bike control. An optional  9-inch high  Passenger Pad is also available. You can customize all CC Seats in a variety of available stitch patterns with your choice of thread color to accent paint or graphics. Along with the popular Vinyl fabric coverings  available in Black, Colors and Textures, you can also customize with Exotic Hides including Alligator and Ostrich. Your own special design embroidery can be followed. MSRP starts from $485.00

C&C Motorcycle Seats offers custom seat designs for both Stock Replacement and Special Construction motorcycles.  They also provide Seat Repair and ReUpholstery in Vinyl and Leather for all motorcycle brands and applications. Visit their website for a complete look at their available fabrics, leathers and embroidery designs.

Call: 866 775-2100 / 562 531-6185

Visit: www.CCseats.com

CycleVisions Converts your Softail or Dyna


These mounting kits let you add a genuine H-D Road Glide fairing to your Softail or Dyna. No need to buy an expensive H-D dresser! You’ll get the look you want while saving money. A genuine Road Glide fairing is perfect for that cross-county road trip you’ve always dreamed of, keeping you from being buffeted by the wind hour after hour. Each mounting kit is constructed of high-quality steel with a black powder-coated finish and works with 98-10 FLTR fairings on most 00-10 Softail or Dyna models. And it’s easy to install, too; no frame modification is necessary. The FLTR fairing is not included and must be purchased separately.

www.dragspecialties.com (or contact your dealer)